By Tom Mugisha, firstname.lastname@example.org
KAMPALA – President Museveni has threatened to sack all the striking doctors whose industrial action has paralyzed the health sector in Uganda.
Museveni issued the warning in the western town of Fort portal where he said government would replace the striking doctors with news ones.
It’s not clear where government would get the new doctors if the striking doctors are fired, however, the president ordered military doctors to start working at hospitals where patients have been stuck on Tuesday.
“The doctors have betrayed me. We had selected a committee to review the salaries of civil servants in the country. It had just completed its work and doctors have decided to strike. Many people have lost their lives,” Mr Museveni said, “How can you strike and let people die because you want a pay rise. This is intolerable. We shall fire doctors who don’t want to work,”
The strike has entered the second week as medical doctors demand a pay raise, citing wage disparities in the country.
The doctors want government to review their monthly salaries which will see an intern doctor earn Shs8.5million from the current shs960, 000 before tax.
But government says their demands are unrealistic. They also want a medical officer or a teaching assistant at Uganda’s medical school at the National Referral, Mulago to be paid shs15million and also given a two- bedroomed -house and a 2.5cc vehicle.
They also demand that a senior consultant doctor or a Professor be paid a gross salary of Shs35m minus allowances and five- bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle and three domestic workers.
Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4million, consultant 2.6m and a Medical officer gets 1.1million as a monthly salary.
The doctors also want the salaries for nurses and midwives enhanced to about 6.5million besides a 3 bedroomed house, 2.0cc vehicle and one domestic worker